Spring gardening is a great source of joy for many in Minnesota. After a long, cold winter, gardening provides the opportunity to get back outside, feel the fresh air and smell the flowers as you plant them. Unfortunately, once summer rolls around in MN, the weather turns blazingly hot. Average temperatures from June through August are in the 80s, but highs of up to 100 degrees occur as well.
Under this extreme heat, newly planted flowers may wither and die. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your gardens thriving throughout the summer in Minnesota. Keep reading to learn how!
5 Ways to Keep Your Gardens Healthy in Hot Summers
- Add Fresh Mulch – The biggest threat that summer heat poses to gardens in Minnesota is the rapid evaporation of the water which your flowers, bushes and trees need to survive. The best way to keep your plants properly moisturized is to add new mulch to your garden beds at the start of every spring. Mulch retains moisture better than soil, preventing all of your water from evaporating as soon as the afternoon sun starts baking your gardens. Try to spread an even three inches of mulch over all of your garden beds to keep your flowers and shrubs hydrated throughout the summer.
- Deep Watering – If you merely water your plants like normal when the temperature is scorchingly hot, all that water will disappear before your gardens have a chance to drink their fill. While mulch is helpful for moisture retention, that won’t be enough when it’s 90 degrees out. At least one morning per week during the summer, you should deep water your plants so that the soil is moist for at least a foot deep. This will ensure that your plants have the water they need when the sun is high in the sky and any surface water has evaporated.
- Keep the Leaves Dry – You want to soak the roots of your flowers, trees and bushes, not their leaves. While leaves can absorb water, their primary purpose is to absorb sunlight and you don’t need to get them wet. In fact, it can be harmful; water droplets on leaves can intensify the heat of the sun and lead to a harmful burn. Because of this, it’s always best to water at ground level. If you don’t have the time to carefully kneel down to the roots of each plant, just be sure to water early in the morning to give your plants’ leaves plenty of time to dry before the sun is at its highest.
- Give Them Shade – Direct exposure to the sun is what causes flowers to wilt the most quickly, so giving them some shade cover can be helpful. For annuals or perennials which need at least a few hours of shade per day, try planting them in the shadows of the largest trees on your property in Minnesota or even right under your deck. For plants that need several hours of direct sunlight under ordinary circumstances, the solution is a bit trickier, since you’ll need something that you only set up when it’s particularly hot out. Believe it or not, umbrellas are a great way to shade your gardens on the hottest days. If you don’t have one that’s big enough, you can try creating a DIY canopy using a large strip of cloth or tarp stretched over your plants to block out the sweltering afternoon sun.
- No Fertilizer – Fertilizer is supposed to help plants grow strong but using it at the wrong time can have just the opposite effect. During the intense heat of summer, the roots of plants are already struggling to absorb enough moisture and nutrients to keep the plant healthy. Adding fertilizer to the soil in summer will just overwhelm plants that are already struggling. Make sure that all your gardens in Minnesota are properly fertilized by the end of spring to prevent this problem from occurring.
Expert Garden Maintenance in the Twin Cities
Keeping your gardens alive and flourishing during the worst summer heat can be a real struggle, especially with how busy most homeowners already are. If you want to maintain a healthy garden during the summer but don’t have enough time to work on it, why not hire the pros to do it for you? Call Ground One today for proficient garden maintenance services in the Twin Cities metro area!